Don't worry, Rick Perry. I'm not ashamed to admit I celebrate Christmas. Openly. I depend on it. I don't know if I could get through the winter without it. Merry Christmas!
It can get so dark. One day is shorter than the next. In Portland it gets dark at like, two, two-thirty. It's dark. It's dark and it's cold. Winter is sort of brutal and it's gets brutaller as you get older and your meat thins out. It's easy to lose faith during these dark winters, for me at least. In fact, it gets so dark it can even be despairing.
And then a tiny light appears. Teensy. And hey, look, that tree's still green. Does the day seem like it's getting a little longer? We might be okay. Let's weave a circle out of those green branches to remind ourself that life continues, it goes on. Let's cut down one of those trees and put it in the house and cover it with tiny lights, to remind us that the lights will get brighter and brighter and we might even see the warm sun again. Let's put presents under the tree to remind us that life is endlessly abundant, full of gifts.
Whoa, and then this little beauty arrives, a perfect little baby, born amidst the small and lowly, a new kind of king that ain't like the old kind of king, and this king baby is all about love and gentleness and forgiveness and acceptance, and he is the future, and he is me and he is you and everything's going to be juuuusst fine. Merry Christmas!
Anyway, that's how one group tells it, at least, the reason we should not despair during these dark days, times when it's dark dark dark and we seek reassurance. This Christmas story is a clue, a path, a thread, a reminder.